Since 1992, Pam and Charlie Weber have hosted live music at Weber & Co., the warehouse where Charlie restores classic wood boats. The Boathouse Concerts focus on traditional and contemporary folk music, as it often tells of a way of life that existed or is threatened with extinction – much like the historic waterfront artist colony at Fifth Avenue Point. At the Boathouse, the audience enjoys an intimate setting, shares homemade desserts and has an opportunity to meet and visit with the musicians. In an age of stadium extravaganzas, with bands on oversized screens, ticket (and parking) prices equally oversized, Boathouse guests sit just feet away from the performers for a small donation, all of which is given to the entertainers. This is an experience rarely available to inner city working residents.
The Boathouse Concerts are produced by the Fifth Avenue Institute, which participates in a growing network of organizations providing “infill” bookings for small venue traveling performers (see HouseConcerts.com, Concertsinyourhome.com and FolkMusic.org.) The Institute also works with members of the Far-West regional chapter of the International Folk Alliance , which fosters and promotes traditional, contemporary and multi-cultural folk music, dance and related performing arts. Additionally, the Institute Board members bring attention to acts playing at regional festivals, and invitations are extended with the message that an appreciative audience can be found at the Boathouse.
The Fifth Avenue Institute produces the Boathouse Concert Series as part of its mission to preserve artisan communities and encourage art and music in neighborhoods.
Unless otherwise noted:
Doors open at 7 pm; Performances begin at 8 pm.
Donation of $20 goes to the musicians
Attendance by reservation only (over 18 only)
Guests are asked to bring a dessert, savory or beverage to share
There is always a barrel by the door for the Food Bank
For further information about upcoming concerts, or inquiries about performing at the Boathouse, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Future Boathouse Concerts
It's never too early to put music on your calendar!
January 18, 2014
We invited Keith to kick off our 2014 series, and he and long-time friend and
superb percussionist Jimmy Norris delivered! We enjoyed all of Keith's new
songs, all of his stories and favorite signature numbers. Sharon Allen joined
Keith for a few songs -- an unexpected and special treat. The evening
ended way too soon. Whether he’s appearing with City Folk, Dayan Kai or solo, with nothing more than a guitar in hand and a song with a story to tell, Keith Greeninger is a performer not to be missed.
Saturday, December 6, 2014
Mollie O'Brien and Rich Moore
February 23, 2014
Mollie O'Brien and Rich Moore are favorites at the Boathouse. -- they
bring a trunkful of ballads, jazz, blues, folk and onstage banter that cannot
be matched. They were accompanied by Eric Thurin on bass, and he
added another dimension to vocal harmonies -- not to mention his
wonderful bass on the jazz and blues! Their new CD, "Love Runner," is true to their live performance and a great collection of Mollie and Rich's musical diversity.
Steve Smulian accompanied by Kerry Parker and Bob Hahn
April 19, 2014
Past Boathouse Concerts - 2014 and 2015
This was one great night a the boathouse! We think a new trio is ready for the house concert circuit! If you have a chance to hear them, do it! This group of friends and superb musicians surprised us in such a good way.
Steve Smulian has been singing all his life, and playing and studying the guitar since his early teens. In addition to writing his own songs and poetry, Steve has many friends who are extraordinary songwriters, and he enjoys sharing their songs with his audience. The multitalented Kerry Parker (violin, octave violin, vocals) added so much to this group. What a lovely contibution with wonderful violin. Bob Hahn (on harps) could do no wrong. He also played guitar and sang..
May 10, 2014
David Francey exceeded our expectations by a hundredfold! We had heard him live at Kate Wolf and Fiddling Cricket venues, we had most of his CDs, but there was something special about his appearance at the Boathouse.... The music was as wonderful as we rememgered, but we somehow had forgotten about his magnificent sense of humor. The audience loved him -- and he's now part of the Boathouse family. Please hurry back, David!
Saturday, June 14, 2014
Houston Jones hasn't lost its magic, and the high-octane Americana quintet
brought their original repertoire that ranges from bluegrass and folk to blues
and gospel. The band features Glenn Houston (lead acoustic and electric guitars,
mandolin), Travis Jones (lead vocal, acoustic guitar), Henry Salvia (keyboard,
accordion), Josh Zucker (standup bass), and Peter Tucker (drums). The concert was sold out to the rafters, but nobody complained. We were energized by the upbeat, touched by the ballads, and Travis sent us home to "Heart of Gold," which took many of us back to Strawberry 2005.
Saturday, July 19, 2014
“Steve is one of those quiet ‘under the radar’ songwriters that when you
‘discover’ him you think “lucky me! Everyone should know his beautiful
songs!” Claudia Russell
Steve Meckfessel delivered as promised -- new music from his soon-to-be-released CD, heartfelt stories that led to the music. He's a poet/guitarist/singer-songwriter whose music is rich and deep and always touches the heart. Steve has traveled thousands of miles, performing at house concerts, cafes and venues -- the Bluebird Café in Nashville, Sisters Folk Festival in Oregon, a sold-out performance at the Freight and Salvage in Berkeley. He has shared the stage with Johnsmith, Keith Greeninger, Claudia Russell, John R. Burr, Peter Andrews, Roger Feuer, Chris Kokesh, Jim Norris, Paul Olguin, Bob Hahn, Dayan Kai, Sylvia Herold and others.
Terri Hendrix and Lloyd Maines
Saturday, September 6, 2014
Terri Hendrix is an award-winning Texas songwriter who spins sorrow
into joy and wrings wisdom from the blues. A classically trained vocalist
and deft multi-instrumentalist (guitar, mandolin and harmonica), she
has released more than a dozen albums on her own Wilory Records
label, dodging musical pigeonholes her entire career by weaving folk,
pop, country, blues and swinging jazz into an eclectic style all her own.
That playful mix of styles, buoyed by her energetic stage presence and
the accompaniment of legendary producer/guitarist Lloyd Maines,
makes for a highly energetic and spiritually uplifting live show in any setting, from intimate listening rooms and theaters to festival stages. Visit Terri’s website: http://www.terrihendrix.com
Few people are as important to the development of Texas music over the last 30 years as Lloyd Maines. As a Grammy award-winning producer and musician, the Lubbock-born Maines has played an instrumental role in the creation of some of the Lone Star State's most famous and beloved albums. Over the past 40 years, Maines has worked on approximately four-thousand albums alongside some of the most significant figures in country, rock, and Texas music. To name a few: Rita Hosking, Terry Allen, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Robert Earl Keen, Jerry Jeff Walker, and the Waybacks. Lloyd was recently inducted into the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame (he maintains it was for "perfect attendance.").
Their performance at the Boathouse was high-energy, touching and fun. If you EVER have a chance to see this delightful musical duo, don't miss them!
Coming out of the Bay Area’s red-hot roots music scene, Front
Country joined an elite group when they became the third
band ever to win both prestigious Band Competitions at
RockyGrass (2012) and Telluride (2013). Having already
performed with iconic artists like Peter Rowan, Laurie Lewis, Hot Club of Cowtown & Buttered Rum, Front Country has proved themselves to be a band to watch.
Lead by Jacob Groopman & Melody Walker (Chris Austin Songwriting Competition winner), this progressive California 6-piece is already making major waves in the world of Bluegrass and Americana music .With their unique arrangements, reimagined covers, strong bluesy vocals, and award-winning songwriting, they have put their own stamp on Americana music and quickly set themselves apart from the pack.
Upcoming Boathouse Concerts
Just a few words about this concert -- Wow, wow, and wow! This energetic and talented group rocked the Boathouse! Do not pass up an opportunity to see this group!
Chris Webster and Nina Gerber
January 17, 2015
What a terrific way to kick off 2015! Long-time favorites at the Boathouse, Chris Webster and Nina Gerber are two of the most skilled and artful musical talents we know. Webster's voice is uniquely compelling while Gerber's guitar is beautiful and powerful. Together they're magic. With originals, tasteful covers-soulful ballads, jazzy tunes and sweet folk Chris and Nina delivered a great show.
Sunday, March 1, 2015 (3:00 pm - 5:00 pm)
The California Honeydrops don’t just play music—they throw parties, and this was one of
the best parties ever at the Boathouse! Sold out to the rafters, our largest audience in our
house concert history. Drawing on diverse musical influences from Bay Area R&B, funk,
Southern soul, Delta blues, and New Orleans second-line, the Honeydrops bring vibrant
energy and infectious dance-party vibes to their live shows. They’ve taken the party all
over the world: on their nine European tours, to featured slots at such premiere festivals as Monterey Jazz, High Sierra, and Outside Lands, and performances in 2013 supporting B.B. King, Dr. John, Buddy Guy, and Allen Toussaint. Whether in those high-profile performances or in more intimate venues where the band itself can leave the stage and get down on the dance floor, the California Honeydrops’ shared vision and purpose remain: to make the audience dance and sing.
The Honeydrops have come a long way since guitarist and trumpeter Lech Wierzynkski and drummer Ben Malament started busking in an Oakland BART station, but the band has stayed true to that organic, street-level feel. With the additions of Johnny Bones on tenor sax and clarinet, Lorenzo Loera on keyboards, and Beau Bradbury on bass, they’ve built a powerful full-band sound to support Wierzynski’s vocals.
Thank you, Honeydrops, for bringing your high energy performance to the Boathouse one more time!
We were mesmerized by The Ronstadt Generations! Our audience enjoyed
every moment of the evening -- their music, storytelling, family harmonies,
getting to know them during the breaks. And did we mention Michael G on
Representing five generations in North America, Ronstadt Generations
continues the family’s musical traditions with Michael J. Ronstadt and his
sons, Michael G. and Petie. They present an exciting repertoire that preserves
the traditional Southwestern and Mexican songs of their heritage while offering
innovative original material. New compositions place them on the cutting edge of multiple, blended genres, stretching the boundaries of folk, blues, world, jazz and beyond. and beyondand beyond.
Michael, Michael G. and Petie have promised to return to the Boathouse!
April 11, 2015
Claudia Russell and Bruce Kaplan
June 6, 2015
For concert hosts, Claudia Russell and Bruce Kaplan are among our favorite
performers -- like having your best friends over for dinner, and afterward they pick up
their guitars and in a smooth, easygoing way, play the most beautiful original music.
They have honed their distinctive sound over a decade of touring festivals, clubs,
concert series and house concerts, often as a duo and sometimes with their ever-changing band,
The Folk Unlimited Orchestra. On stage they draw audiences in with clever banter and an entertaining “who me?” attitude. Russell and Kaplan have graced the stages of the Kerrville Folk Festival, The Great American Music Hall, Club Passim and key acoustic venues such as McCabe’s and Berkeley’s Freight & Salvage. The duo call the San Francisco Bay Area home and are one of the cornerstones of its thriving roots music scene.
What a night! Thank you, Jack Williams, for bringing your stories and artistry to
the Boathouse. You made some new friends who will tell their friends and all of us
will watch for look forward to your return to the Bay Area.
Jack's bio in itself is amazing, with a 55-year career playing folk, rock jazz, R and B, classical and popular music from the 30's, 40's, and 50's. In the 60's he was a hired gun guitarist/band leader for John Lee Hooker, Hank Ballard, and the Shirelles, among others. Up to the 80's he played jazz trumpet and classical guitar, while also fronting a series of original rock bands as an electric guitarist. Since the 60's he has also toured as a solo troubadour. Jack has at least 9 solo CD's of original music, plus involvement in many others. www.jackwilliamsmusic.com.
August 22, 2015
City Folk - Roger Feuer, Kimball Hurd, Keith Greeninger
Saturday, November 14, 2015
Kevin became a member of the Boathouse family -- meaning he's
always welcome to return. What a delightfully mellow evening,
brought to us by a stellar songwriter/singer/musician! His first visit
left us feeling we had spent the evening with an old friend.
In 2004 Welch teamed up with Kieran Kane and Fats Kaplin to produce You Can’t Save Everybody, followed by Lost John Dean, which reached number one on the Americana charts, and resulted in nominations for several awards including Duo/Group. The group toured Australia, Europe and the UK, Canada, and much of the United States. In 2008 Welch left Nashville in 2008 for the hills outside of Austin, Texas. Two years later he joined friends Jimmy LaFave, Sam Baker, and Slaid Cleaves at the start-up label Music Road Records, and self-produced his solo record, A Patch of Blue Sky.
Welch currently is touring, though while off the road he teaches songwriting workshops at his home in Wimberely, Texas.
For a glimpse of Kevin:
Youtube “The Whippoorwill’s Song” https://youtu.be/rawM6u_BLG4 Youtube: “Train to Birmingham”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cIWc12a2Uok
October 3, 2015
Saturday, January 16, 2016
John was in fine form -- and we had a full house to greet him! He
brought his new CD and the stories that accompany it. It is truly his
best. During John's performance, there was a lot of laughter in the
room, and we noted a few tears -- that's how Jon's music is. It touches
John was joined for part of the evening by old friend, singer/songwriter/superb guitarist Steve
Meckfessel, and wonderful singer Julie Baker. What an evening! John has a couple of trips to Ireland planned this year -- how we wish we could join him! Check his website if you're interested.
with Susie Glaze and the Hilonesome Band
Saturday, February 13, 2016
Chris Webster and Nina Gerber
Saturday, March 12, 2016
City Folk returned with new friends, old and new music, and
undeniably the best vocal blend we've had the honor of hosting.
Kimball Hurd, Keith Greeninger, and Roger Feuer became City Folk
25 years ago, and their reunion 3 years ago left us wanting more, and we hope the reunion never ends. They perform their wonderful brand of “folk” music with meticulous three-part harmony underscored by a meticulous acoustic instrumentation. We will follow them to attend local performances and will definitely invite them to return.
Although this concert sold out by word of mouth, we were honored to host Hoston Jones in their final performance with Glenn Houston as lead guitarist. And Susie Glaze and the Hilonesome Band were absolutely fabulous. Susie's treatment of the music of Appalachia is truly special.
What a night! Long-time favorites at the Boathouse, Chris Webster and
Nina Gerber returned to the Boathouse, brought some music we've never heard
from them before, and delivered an evening we won't soon forget. There is
something special about this pairing -- it's relaxed, easy, and the music is just
Chris Webster is a soul singer - a soul singer beyond genre. In the course of recording over 20 albums, she has drawn equally from classic R&B thumpers and gospel-grass prayers, from rockabilly rave-ups and singer/songwriter confessions.
She’s also funny. Though in performance she hangs back, all sly allure - when you’re in it for the long haul, you learn to pace yourself - she’s got a cool, understated comic timing.
"Nina Gerber’s guitar style is wide and brave. As she glides thru this record project, she uses each of her guitars as if it's the one she was born to play. Acoustic or electric, she sounds beautiful, smokey, precise, full of the licks you love to hear, even though it sounds like you're hearing them fresh, for the first time, and some of them... you are. She's a player, folks... we're lucky to have her near..." Herb Pedersen, Los Angeles
Saturday, April 16, 2016
David Luning is a rising star -- and our audience enjoyed every momentof his performance. His
earnest songwriting, lively storytelling, and rich, captivating voice would have you believe you’re
listening to a hardened veteran of Nashville. His first set was primarily solo, and he demonstrated
a songwriting maturity well beyond his years. His band is high energy, arrangements are tight, and
when they step on stage, that's when the fun begins.
We highly recommend following David (as we will) and considering him for small and large venues. He's new, but he's ready for prime time. We already discussing having him back next year.
…he is a study in easygoing amiability and unforced charisma. He charms crowds
with self-teasing humor, tart progressive insight, and a lulling Southwestern folk
Scott Alarik, Boston Globe
Truer words were never spolen! Ronny returned to the Boathouse by popular demand, bringing his woven tapestry of songs and stories that has earned him a couple of generations of devoted fans. A consummate storyteller, Ronny shared funny, sad and tender moments. Enhancing these great stories was the music provided by Ronny and his band of world-class, virtuoso musicians, Chip Dolan on keyboard and accordian, Lauren Lee on fiddle, and Ronny's son, Brian, on drums.
If you've never seen Ronny in person, make a point of following him -- he's a legend and a joy to hear and know.
Saturday, May 14, 2016
Kevin Welch with Dustin Welch
Saturday, June 18, 2016
This was one of our favorite concerts ever.... it was relaxed, easy to enjoy every
note, every song, every story. Kevin is always wonderful, Dustin was terrific, a
noted singer/songwriterin his own right. Together, they delivered an lovely
performance. We're already talking about a return next year.
The Michael J. Ronstadt Memorial Tour
September 11, 2016
Following the untimely death of Michael J. Ronstadt, his sons, Michael G. and Petie,
continued the family’s musical traditions by presenting an exciting repertoire, with
traditional Southwestern and Mexican songs of their heritage while offering innovative original material. New compositions place them on the cutting edge of multiple, blended genres, stretching the boundaries of folk, blues, jazz and beyond.
Rich harmonies sung in English and Spanish were accompanied by outstanding cello and guitars. Individually and together, Stateside and across the pond, the trio’s worldwide touring and recording credits include such diverse artists as Linda Ronstadt, Los Lobos, Dixie Hummingbirds, David Bromberg, Nydia Rojas, Tish Hinojosa, Muriel Anderson, and Mariachi Vargas, to name a few.
They promised a party and they delivered! With four of the most popular
female Americana performers in the area, Henhouse, with Sherry Austin on
rhythm guitar and vocals, Sharon Allen on vocals and guitar, Tracy Parker on
bass and vocals, and Santa Cruz steel legend, Patti Maxine on lap steel, dobro, guitar and vocals. Though Sherry’s contralto and Sharon’s soprano take most of the lead vocals, Tracy and Patti also take their distinctive lead turns. The lone rooster in the house is Jimmy Norris, the “go to” percussionist of the Monterey Bay area (Jimmy and Sharon just got married on Oct 2nd).
They'll be back!
Saturday, November 12, 2016
Friday, February 24, 2017
Birds of Chicago
“With echoes of deep gospel in Russell’s voice as she sings over a mix of electric guitar, resonant piano, and percussion… at once uplifting and a little melancholy.”
Wall Street Journal
Birds of Chicago was born in 2012 when JT Nero began writing for his vocal star-muse, Allison Russell. Both were accomplished singer/songwriters with projects of their own, Nero with JT and the Clouds and Russell with the acclaimed Canadian roots outfit Po’ Girl, but together there was an unmistakable chemistry. Nero had found the perfect voice for his rock and roll psalms. Russell moved from being a primary songwriter to an interpreter, and her simmering restraint is deeply refreshing to a landscape scorched by post Voice/American Idol vocal gymnastics and over-emoting. On Real Midnight, Birds of Chicago alternate moody rock swagger with the ghostliest of soundscapes. Produced by Joe Henry, a man who’s expert blending of light and shadow is well known, the album is a melancholy - but never shoe gazing - suite, full of wayward, joyful, lonesome voices raised up against the night. Music this raw and soul-rich demands to be experienced live, and Birds of Chicago have developed a fervent following, touring 200 nights a year since their formation in late 2012. For these Birds, singing for a room full of new people, hearts wide open, keeps off the cold and chases off the shadows. 2016 will find the band in constant motion - from sea to sea and beyond.
Saturday, March 25, 2017
Steve Smulian and
Aireene Espiritu and The Itch
Steve Smulian grew up in a family of musicians, artists, and engineers. His earliest musical memory is of attending opera rehearsals as a baby with his mom, a coloratura soprano. His father, an architect, played the xylophone, and his grandmother and her brother played the mandolin and piano. Musical influences include everything from classical to Big Band music from the 1940s, and folk music to jazz, blues, and rock. True to his familial roots, he has worked at various times as an actor, musician, producer, director, and engineer. He has produced several albums, including live performance albums for Greg Brown and Bill Staines. He has been singing all his life, and playing and studying the guitar since his early teens. In addition to writing his own songs and poetry, Steve has many friends who are extraordinary songwriters, and he enjoys sharing their songs with his audience.
Aireene Espiritu is a singer/songwriter playing mostly original songs accompanied by latin/african rhythms, folk, bluegrass pickings and inspirations from gospel music - a mix of stompin', swayin', and timeless Americana. She was born in the Philippines and moved to the United States at 10 years old, growing up in the third culture: the old country, the new country and a blend of both worlds. Mainly influenced by listening to Alan Lomax's field recordings from the South and growing up listening to her uncles' Filipino folk guitar fingerpicking, her music is reminiscent of front porch storytelling, of ghosts and the living, times of laughter and tears. She tours solo as well as with her band as Aireene & The Itch, who are Brian Judd on mandolin/guitar and Karl Sevareid on bass. Aireene has recently appeared at the Freight and Salvage and the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival.